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CRICKET - Int News 15 Apr, 2024

Ihsanullah to visit UK for treatment of hand & wrist
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: Fast bowler Ihsanullah left for Manchester, England, on Sunday morning for his crucial appointment on Monday with esteemed orthopedic surgeon, Professor Adam Watts, regarding his elbow injury. Professor Watts specialises in hand and wrist surgery, shoulder and elbow procedures, sports injuries, and trauma surgery.Ihsanullah's franchise, Multan Sultans, has collaborated with the PCB to secure this appointment. The PCB, as Ihsanullah’s parent body, will cover all expenses for his treatment and rehabilitation.

CRICKET - Int News 13 Apr, 2024

Pak-New Zealand T20I Series: PCB reveals Match Officials
Sports Bulletin ReportRAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced match officials for the Pakistan versus New Zealand five-match T20I series, which will roll into action on April 18 at Pindi Cricket Stadium Rawalpindi.According to media department of PCB, Andy Pycroft, a member of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees, will lead the playing control team that includes five umpires, namely Ahsan Raza (elite panelist), Aleem Dar, Asif Yaqoob, Faisal Afridi and Rashid Riaz (all from the ICC’s international panel), who will share umpiring responsibilities.The Pindi Stadium will stage the opening three T20Is on 18, 20 and 21 April before action will move to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium where the last two matches will be played on 25 and 27 April.Umpire and match referee appointments:18 April – First T20I. Ahsan Raza and Aleem Dar (on-field umpires), Faisal Afridi (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Andy Pycroft (match referee)20 April – Second T20I. Asif Yaqoob and Aleem Dar (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Faisal Afridi (fourth umpire); Andy Pycroft (match referee)21 April – Third T20I. Ahzan Raza and Asif Yaqoob (on-field umpires), Rashid Riaz (third umpire), Aleem Dar (fourth umpire); Andy Pycroft (match referee)25 April – Fourth T20I. Faisal Afridi and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Ahsan Raza (fourth umpire); Andy Pycroft (match referee)27 April – Rashid Riaz and Faisal Afridi (on-field umpires), Aleem Dar (third umpire), Asif Yaqoob (fourth umpire); Andy Pycroft (match referee)

CRICKET - Women 09 Apr, 2024

Pakistan Cricket Board names women squad for West Indies Series
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: Five women cricketers have been recalled to the white-ball squads as the National Women’s Selection Committee, led by Saleem Jaffar, announced 16-member ODI and T20I squads against West Indies women’s team.The three ODIs – part of ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 - will be played between 18 and 23 April, while the five T20Is will take place from 26 April to 3 May. All eight matches will be played at the National Bank Stadium in Karachi.Saleem Jaffar, Chief Selector said: “The selection committee, in consultation with captain Nida Dar and interim head coach, has finalised 16-member squads for the ODI and T20I series. Five players in the squads return due to their performances in the domestic tournament and good skills they demonstrated in the camp.“The series against the West Indies is important for us as the ODIs are part of ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25. We are aiming to secure maximum points in the series, taking advantage of our home conditions, to enhance our chances for direct qualification for next year’s ICC Women’s ODI World Cup.“The series against the West Indies also presents an opportunity for the players to showcase their skills and secure berths for next month’s England tour. The ongoing domestic one-day tournament continues to provide chances to players not involved in the series against the West Indies to produce strong performance and stake claims for places for the England series.”Pakistan women's squad for ODI: Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof*, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Tuba Hassan, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda AkhtarPakistan women's squad for T20I: Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof*, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali (wk), Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Rameen Shamim, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Tuba Hassan and Umm-e-HaniPlayer support personnel: Saira Iftikhar (manager), Mauhtashim Rashid (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach), Hanif Malik (fielding coach), Mohammad Javed (strength and conditioning coach), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media manager), Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist), Zubair Ahmed (analyst) and Nadia Arif (masseuse)Series schedule:April 18, 2024: First ODI at NBS at 0930am local timeApril 21, 2024: Second ODI at NBS at 0930am local timeApril 23, 2024: Third ODI at NBS at 1530 local timeApril 26, 2024: First T20I at NBS at 1930 local timeApril 28, 2024: Second T20I at NBS at 1930 local timeApril 30, 2024: Third T20I at NBS at 1930 local timeMay 2, 2024: Fourth T20I at NBS at 1930 local timeMay 3, 2024: Fifth T20I at NBS at 1930 local time.

CRICKET - Int News 09 Apr, 2024

T20 National Team announced for New Zealand home Series
Imad and Amir named in a 17-player squad, Irfan and Usman earn maiden Pakistan selectionSports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The National Selection Committee (NSC) for Men of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 17-man squad for the T20 International Series against New Zealand, which will be played from April 18 to 27 in Rawalpindi and Lahore aiming to set a suitable squad for forthcoming T20 World Cup, which will be played United States of America and West Indies simultaneously in June this year 2024.Uncapped middle-order batter Mohammad Irfan Khan and opener batter Usman Khan have been included in the 17-player squad led by skipper Babar Azam. Both new players have earned the selectors’ nod following impressive performances in the HBL Pakistan Super League.Irfan Khan of Karachi Kings was adjudged the Emerging Player and Best Fielder of the HBL PSL 9 after scoring 171 runs at a strike-rate of 140.16. Overall, the 21-year-old Mianwali-born Irfan has featured in 34 T20s in which he has scored 499 runs at a strike-rate of 135.96. Irfan has also represented Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cups 2020 and 2022.Usman Khan of Multan Sultans smashed two centuries and two half-centuries in the most recent event to help his side reach the final where they lost to Islamabad United in a last-ball thriller. In the HBL PSL 8, the 28-year-old Karachi-born right-hander had smashed a 36-ball century against Quetta Gladiators - the fastest century in the tournament’s history. Overall, Usman has featured in 36 T20s in which he has scored 1,207 runs at a strike-rate of 146.12.Irfan Khan on his selection said: “I am deeply honoured to have been selected in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. Breaking into such a formidable team like Pakistan is a testament to the dedication and effort I have put into my game. Now, my focus is on seizing this opportunity and solidifying my position within the team. I am fully committed to continuing to work diligently and proving myself worthy of the trust placed in me by the captain and selectors.”Usman Khan said on his selection: “Being chosen to represent one’s country is the ultimate dream and goal for any athlete. Today, I am absolutely thrilled and filled with joy as the selectors have granted me the opportunity to be part of the upcoming series against New Zealand. This selection validates the relentless effort and dedication I have poured into my craft, and I am fully committed to upholding the high standards I have set for myself.”Selection committee member and batting coach Mohammad Yousuf said: “On behalf of the selection committee, I extend heartfelt congratulations to Mohammad Irfan Khan and Usman Khan on their inclusion in the Pakistan men’s cricket team for the upcoming home series against New Zealand. Both players have undeniably earned their spots through a string of consistent, outstanding performances. We hold great optimism and belief in their potential to become key impact players, yet recognise that this requires ongoing dedication and effort. I trust that both players will continue their upward trajectory, sparing no effort in proving themselves worthy of the selectors' and captain's trust and confidence.”Abrar retained, Imad and Mohammad Amir recalled:The other uncapped player in the squad is wrist spinner Abrar Ahmed. He was named in the squad for the T20I series against New Zealand earlier this year, but returned after Australia Tests due to fitness reasons. He will be the second wrist spinner in the side along with Usama Mir.Also named in the squad are all-rounder Imad Wasim and fast bowler Mohammad Amir. The two experienced campaigners had become available after coming out of retirement last month.Imad has played 66 T20Is in which he has scored 486 runs at a strike-rate of 131.7 and taken 65 wickets at an economy-rate of 6.26. He last played for Pakistan 12 months ago at his home ground in Rawalpindi against New Zealand.Amir, who last played for Pakistan in August 2020 at Old Trafford against England, has played in 50 T20Is in which he has taken 59 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.02.Selection committee member and senior team manager Wahab Riaz said: “The decision to include Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir was a straightforward one, given their availability for selection and considering Haris Rauf's injury and Mohammad Nawaz's current form. Both Amir and Imad possess undeniable match-winning capabilities, and we trust they will consistently deliver strong performances to bolster the team's objectives. We have communicated our overarching selection policy and strategy to all elite players, and there is complete alignment within the group. To ensure the policy's implementation in letter and spirit, I will closely collaborate with the team management during the series. As we prepare for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies, this series holds significant importance for Pakistan. Rather than solely focusing on the formidable New Zealand side, we aim to introspect and identify areas for improvement. I anticipate that players will seize the opportunities presented to strengthen their claims for the World Cup.”Names of Players: Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohmmad Amir, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Zaman KhanNon-travelling reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, and Salman Ali Agha

CRICKET - Int News 07 Apr, 2024

PCB News: Babar Azam reflects on pre-season camp in Kakul
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has termed the pre-season camp in Kakul as highly successful, adding that it not only contributed to preparing the players for the long and challenging cricket season ahead but also strengthened unity and understanding amongst the group through strategically designed team bonding exercises and drills.Babar Azam was joined by Aamer Jamal, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan in paying tribute to the facilities, atmosphere, and support of the highly trained and skilled instructors. They also believed the 11 days spent at the location will help them successfully overcome the demands of upcoming challenges and contribute in producing strong performances.Twenty-nine elite cricketers attended the pre-season camp at the historic and iconic Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul from March 26 to April 6, with the training and drills designed by Pakistan Army experts and strategists. During the camp, there was a focus on team building aimed to enhance the physical and mental strength of the players, ensuring they were in the best condition to face the challenges ahead.Under the guidance of experienced trainers and coaches, the players underwent a comprehensive training regime tailored to elevate their fitness levels, agility, leadership, strategic thinking and overall performance on the field.Pakistan captain Babar Azam said: “This was my third boot camp, and with each visit, I’ve gleaned new insights. This time, our focus extended beyond physical fitness to encompass team bonding activities and performance-improving lectures. These elements are crucial considering our team environment where collective performance is paramount for achieving desired results. The notable deviation from previous camps was the absence of cricket-centric activities. Instead, the emphasis was squarely on physical conditioning, teamwork and mental resilience. Immersed in such an inspiring facility, guided by top-notch instructors and a well-structured programme, all the players have experienced significant growth. I’m confident that we’ll return to competitive cricket as better, fitter and mentally tougher athletes, thereby enhancing our overall performance. Unlike our usual routine during other camps and international series, we engaged in confidence-building exercises and team-building activities. Notably, we opted to share rooms, facilitating deeper connections among team members. These shared spaces fostered discussions ranging from strategic planning and team combinations to the evolution of cricket, latest innovations in the sport, analysis of opponents and our approach to each day's challenges. Given the upcoming cricket fixtures, this camp proves exceptionally valuable. It not only mitigates injury risks but also augments both individual skills and collective team performance.”All-rounder Aamer Jamal said: “These sessions were instrumental in enhancing both our speed and endurance. Given the high altitude of this location, unique training methods were necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen flow to our muscles, and I believe this aspect was one of the most valuable takeaways from our time here in Kakul. Visiting this iconic facility was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The exceptional care and treatment we received added an extra layer of enjoyment and reward to this pre-season camp.”Wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan said: “The rigorous training at higher altitudes has not only pushed us to our limits but has also markedly enhanced our overall fitness and strength. The picturesque location, steeped in history and achievements, served as a massive source of motivation for all of us, inspiring active participation in the drills and prompting us to make the most of this opportunity. My primary focus has been on enhancing my endurance, and the instructors have been incredibly supportive in this endeavor. While I understand that this is a gradual process, I feel well-prepared and equipped to assimilate all the learnings from this camp and continue working towards achieving the required standards. One of the most valuable aspects of this session has been the fostering of team bonding. We utilised this time to deepen our understanding of each other, drawing significant positive energy from these bonding exercises.”All-rounder Imad Wasim said: “Personally, I benefited tremendously as I was already focused on my rehabilitation and strength. These sessions and drills were markedly different from cricket-related training, but we dedicated extra hours that I'm confident will benefit us all in match situations. The time in Kakul was also crucial from a team bonding perspective. I've sensed, and I'm sure other players have too, that it was valuable to be here, spend time together, and grow closer to each other. This closeness will undoubtedly play a significant role in our performances.”Fast bowler Naseem Shah said: “After some time apart due to the HBL Pakistan Super League, it was truly gratifying to come together and recharge for the cricket challenges that lie ahead. Undoubtedly, there was a significant emphasis on physical fitness, as every athlete aspires to reach peak condition. In this regard, I believe we've successfully met our objectives, and I'll return as a fitter and more adept athlete. We wholeheartedly engaged in each drill, occasionally even competing against one another. This not only fostered camaraderie but also reinforced our unity and team spirit.”All-rounder Shadab Khan said: “It has been a new experience training at these marvelous facilities under the watchful eyes of the Pakistan Army trainers. Undoubtedly, all the cricketers will return with improved fitness levels and standards that will significantly contribute when they take the field in the upcoming challenges. The fitter our players are during the season, the greater our chances of success will be.”

CRICKET - Women 06 Apr, 2024

Update on Pakistan women cricketers
Karachi (PR): The Pakistan Cricket Board has provided an update regarding two of its women players, Bismah Maroof and Ghulam Fatima, who were involved in a minor car accident on Friday evening. Despite sustaining minor injuries, both players received immediate first aid and are currently under the care of the PCB medical team.The two players also underwent precautionary CT Scans, which came out clear.Both players are part of the probables attending a training camp for the upcoming series against the West Indies, scheduled to begin on 18 April.

CRICKET - Women 05 Apr, 2024

Australia's Claire Polosak to officiate women’s series in Karachi
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: Australia’s Claire Polosak will officiate as an on-field umpire in all the eight white-ball matches between Pakistan and West Indies women’s cricket teams scheduled in Karachi from 18 April to 3 May.West Indies women’s cricket team will arrive in Karachi on 14 April to play three ODIs – part of ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 and five T20Is. All eight matches will be played at the National Bank Stadium.In the ODI series, former Test batter and member of the PCB and ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees Ali Naqvi will lead the playing control team, while Muhammad Javed, also part of PCB and ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees will lead the playing control team in T20I series.Alongside Polosak, Abdul Moqeet, Imran Jawed and Nasir Hussain – all part of PCB Elite Panel of Umpires will serve as on-field umpires during the ODI series. Saleema Imtiaz and Humairah Farah, both part of the PCB Women’s Panel of Umpires will be the reserve umpires for the ODI series.For the five T20Is, scheduled from 26 April to 3 May, Polosak will be joined by Faisal Afridi (ICC and PCB Elite Panel of Umpires), Farooq Ali Khan and Tariq Rasheed – both part of PCB Elite Panel of Umpires. Afia Amin, Humairah and Saleema will be reserve umpire in the T20I series.Umpire and match referee appointments (Matches from 18 April to 3 May)18 April – First ODI. Claire Polosak and Nasir Hussain (on-field umpires), Abdul Moqeet (third umpire), Saleema Imtiaz (reserve umpire); Ali Naqvi (match referee)21 April – Second ODI. Claire Polosak and Abdul Moqeet (on-field umpires), Nasir Hussain (third umpire), Humairah Farah (reserve umpire); Ali Naqvi (match referee)23 April – Third ODI. Claire Polosak and Imran Jawed (on-field umpires), Abdul Moqeet (third umpire), Saleema Imtiaz (reserve umpire); Ali Naqvi (match referee)26 April – First T20I. Claire Polosak and Tariq Rasheed (on-field umpires), Nasir Hussain (third umpire), Humairah Farah (reserve umpire); Muhammad Javed (match referee)28 April – Second T20I. Claire Polosak and Tariq Rasheed (on-field umpires), Imran Jawed (third umpire) and Saleema Imtiaz (reserve umpire); Muhammad Javed (match referee)30 April – Third T20I. Claire Polosak and Faisal Afridi (on-field umpires), Tariq Rasheed (third umpire) and Afia Amin (reserve umpire); Muhammad Javed (match referee)2 May – Fourth T20I. Claire Polosak and Farooq Ali Khan (on-field umpires), Imran Jawed (third umpire) and Humairah Farah (reserve umpire); Muhammad Javed (match referee)3 May – Fifth T20I. Claire Polosak and Faisal Afridi (on-field umpires), Farooq Ali Khan (third umpire) and Afia Amin (reserve umpire); Muhammad Javed (match referee)  

CRICKET - Int News 02 Apr, 2024

Ben Stokes Opts Out of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Selection
Sports Bulletin ReportLondon (UK): England men’s cricketer Ben Stokes has confirmed today that he does not wish to be considered for selection ahead of this summer’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will take place in June in the West Indies and United States of America (USA).The England Test captain’s primary focus is to get fully fit to bowl not only for the summer of Test cricket, which includes two three-match Test series’ against West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively but for all cricket in the future.Commenting on his decision, Stokes said: “I’m working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfil a full role as an all-rounder in all formats of cricket. “Opting out of the IPL and the World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future.“The recent Test tour of India highlighted how far behind I was from a bowling point of view after my knee surgery and nine months without bowling. I’m looking forward to playing for Durham in the County Championship before the start of our Test summer.“I wish Jos (Buttler), Motty (Matthew Mott) and all the team the best of luck in defending our title.”England’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup defence starts on 4 June against Scotland at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. They will then play group matches against Australia, Oman, and Namibia in Barbados and Antigua before qualification for the Super 8s and knockout stages.

CRICKET - Women 02 Apr, 2024

Pakistan women’s camp for West Indies series starts in Karachi
Sports Bulletin ReportKARACHI: Pakistan women’s camp for West Indies series at home started on Tuesday (April 2, 2024) at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi, as 20 players reported in for the camp.The players will undergo the camp in Karachi till 8 April and disperse to their native cities the next day to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. On 13 April, the squad will assemble in Karachi to prepare for West Indies series which starts on 18 April. The bilateral series includes three ODIs – part of ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 and five T20Is.Head coach Mauhtashim Rashid said: “We had a good series against New Zealand and after that series our target was to bring improvement in the fitness of players. After the series we got time to work on players individually. We have added two new coaches to the support staff, and their presence will enhance our team's performance in the upcoming series.“We had a good domestic season this year, which helped senior and young players to perform and get back to the side. The players who are making a comeback in the camp are the ones who have performed well in the T20 domestic event. We are also organising a one-day tournament this month, which will surely create a healthy competition among the national and junior players and it is heartening to see an increase in the pool of players. This increase in pool of players was the need of the hour and it will help us to make two separate teams for ODIs and T20Is.“The camp for the upcoming West Indies series is organised in such a manner where we will work on players’ skills. We will challenge the players by giving them different match scenarios, will also organise different practice games, which will help the players to test their skills and achieve the targets assigned to them.”Names of players: Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Zafar, Bismah Maroof, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Ghulam Fatima, Gul Feroza, Muneeba Ali, Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Nida Dar, Rameen Shamim, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Tuba Hassan, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda AkhtarPlayer support personnel: Saira Iftikhar (manager), Mauhtashim Rashid (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach), Hanif Malik (fielding coach), Muhammad Javed (strength and conditioning coach), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media manager), Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist), Zubair Ahmed (analyst) and Nadia Arif (masseuse)Series schedule:14 Apr – West Indies women’s team arrival in Karachi18 Apr – First ODI at NBS (330pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)21 Apr – Second ODI at NBS (330pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)23 Apr – Third ODI at NBS (330pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)26 Apr – First T20I at NBS (730pm local time)28 Apr – Second T20I at NBS (730pm local time)30 Apr – Third T20I at NBS (730pm local time)2 May – Fourth T20I at NBS (730pm local time)3 May – Fifth T20I at NBS (730pm local time). 

CRICKET - Domestic 02 Apr, 2024

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Mohsin Naqvi visits Kakul camp
Sports Bulletin ReportABBOTTABAD: Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board ( PCB) Mohsin Naqvi, visited Kakul in Abbottabad today to personally observe the ongoing fitness camp being conducted by trainers from the Pakistan Army for Pakistan's T20 players. The visit aimed at gathering firsthand insights into the training camp and to extend gratitude to the Pakistan Army for their invaluable support in organising the camp.The fitness camp has been instrumental in enhancing the physical capabilities of Pakistan's T20 players, ensuring they are in optimal condition for forthcoming cricketing assignments which also includes ICC T20 World Cup in June this year.Chairman also took the opportunity to interact with the players, personally commending them for their dedication and active participation in the camp. He expressed satisfaction over the players' enthusiasm and commitment towards enhancing their fitness levels.In addition to meeting with the players, Chairman PCB also held a meeting with the selection committee to talk about the team’s selection ahead of the New Zealand T20I series. The meeting was also attended by captain Babar Azam. Chairman PCB also took the members into confidence on the developments made by the Board regarding the appointment of head coach.PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi said: “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Pakistan Army for their support to our cricketers. Their collaboration will not only enhance the fitness levels of our players but will also make them more disciplined in future. This camp will surely put the players in good stead before undertaking a challenging journey leading to a global tournament in the USA and West Indies. The PCB remains dedicated to providing comprehensive support to its players, equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to excel at the international level.”  
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